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Remote Imaging A Users Perspective

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Presentation on theme: "Remote Imaging A Users Perspective"— Presentation transcript:

1 Remote Imaging A Users Perspective
January 7, 2010 Frank Barnes III

2 Overview: Background Locations & Equipment Remote Imaging Challenges
Software, Hardware, and Tools

3 Background: December 1999, started imaging with a Celestron Nexstar 5 and a Nikon CoolPix 800 using eyepiece projection. March 2000, bought a Celestron C14 with a CI700 mount and added a Astrometrics SkyWalker 2 GoTo system to the mount. July 2000, started building my observatory in the back yard, and went operational in November. Added various scopes and cameras over the next few years, but the local light pollution grew by leaps and bounds and I had to start looking for a better dark site.

4 Background: October 2004, I attended the first AIC (Advanced Imaging Conference), and there I met Steve Mandel, the conference founder, and an amateur astronomer working on researching dust clouds. I started helping Steve gather the images for that project by running the equipment located at New Mexico Skies, and two years later, I bought the equipment from him and still do research with Professor Adolf Witt at the University of Toledo. Steve and I partnered in 2007 and put equipment in one of the observatories at Sierra Remote Observatories about 45 miles outside of Fresno, Ca in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

5 Background: 1 year later, Steve changed directions and I bought out his half of the equipment at SRO. I later added a second scope and mount to the SRO observatory and that brought the total to 5 systems that are usually running every night that is clear at each location.

6 Locations & Equipment:
Twinoaks Observatory - Rock Hill, SC. My first observatory, located in my back yard. Definition – Remote Local : Easily accessible by you during an imaging session to handle any situation that may arise.




10 Locations & Equipment:
Mayhill, NM. New Mexico Skies Pod 2. Definition – Remote Manned : Easily accessible by on site personnel during an imaging session to handle any situation that may arise.

11 Mandeloscope


13 Witt Scope


15 Locations: Blue Sky Observatory (Near Shaver Lake, Ca.)
Sierra Remote Observatories - Obs 5. Definition – Remote Unmanned: Accessible by remote personnel based on the seriousness of the emergency. May take some time for them to arrive on site.





20 BSO North BSO South


22 Remote Imaging Challenges:
Power Failure UPS - sized large enough to close your roof, clam, or slot and run your communications , computer(s) , and equipment for an orderly shutdown. APC Smart 3000, APC Smart 2200 Generator Kohler 12RES (12KW Natural Gas)

23 Remote Imaging Challenges:
Weather Failure Must be able to detect changing conditions that would warrant a need to end or pause your imaging session. Clouds (Sky Temperature) High winds High Humidity Loss of feed from weather detector Boltwood II Cloud Sensor




27 Remote Imaging Challenges:
Equipment Failure Must be able to recover from a software failure and/or a hardware failure. Remotely re-boot your computer system(s) Power cycle mount, cameras, hubs, etc Need notifications if/when these failures occur Roof override system Remote Eyes Internet Webcam Toshiba IK-WB01A_11A




31 Remote Imaging Challenges:
Bugs They can get into anything and cause a great deal of damage. Spiders can be most destructive



34 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
TheSky6 Pro Scripting interface Can control a large number of mounts Can setup FOVI for a large number of camera/scope combos Comes with multiple star catalogs and object databases Supports Image linking for accurate telescope positioning Supports multiple locations Interfaces with TPoint for improved telescope pointing

35 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
CCDSoft / Maxim DL Scripting interface Can control a large number of cameras Has the ability to take multiple images Supports a number of Filter Wheels Drives the guiding camera for long exposures Supports Image linking with TheSky6 (CCDSoft) or with PinPoint (Maxim DL) Interfaces with TPoint for automated map building

36 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Automated Focusing - FocusMax Supports a wide range of motorized Focusers Builds a profile of your imaging train and uses that to obtain excellent focus (V Curve) Has a scripting interface Is compatible with CCDSoft and Maxim DL

37 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Remote Automation CCDAutoPilot4 CCD Commander ACP Write your own

38 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Remote Control UltraVNC Radmin Remote Desktop PC Anywhere

39 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Remote Power Control Baytech RPC3DE-15 Web Power Switch Web Power Switch II

40 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
UPS APC APC Smart-UPS 3000VA USB & Serial 120V

41 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Remote Control Relays Web Relays WebRelay & WebRelay Dual Web Cam Toshiba IK-WB15A

42 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
Weather Monitoring Boltwood Cloud Sensor Boltwood II Davis Weather Station Vantage Pro2

43 Software, Hardware, and Tools :
CCD Navigator 2 AutoMapper II Filezilla – FTP Server

44 Remote Setups and Protection Review:
Adequate Power and good backup Power Remote Power control for all devices Good/Fast network connection Good reliable roof controller w/overrides Weather monitor – i.e.: Boltwood II or equivalent

45 Questions ?

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